It is a well-known fact that whenever a husband travels, all hell breaks loose at home.
Tom has missed a broken nose, tonsil surgery, puke-a-thons, blizzards, Missy chewing a battery, Junior dislocating his arm (again), me spraining both ankles while at Curves — you name it.
And even though he is in a different time zone, it is always his fault.
So it should really be of no surprise that during his last trip, Missy went to a “sewing party” at her friend’s house and ended up in the ER. You may immediately/logically think she must have stuck one helluva a needle through her finger. Oh nooooooooooo. The girls took a break from their five-hour sewing session/sweatshop shift to let out a little steam on the trampoline. Flip. Flop. Splat. Missy landed on her neck on the metal part of the trampoline and hurt her back.
The nice, fun mom called right away and gave me a heads up. Missy insisted on staying, but when I got her home, she was really upset and couldn’t bend. The pediatrician said to head over the ER for X-rays to be on the safe side. As I’ve mentioned before, we live one house away from our community hospital – you can’t park closer than where we live.
This has come in very handy when your husband has kidney stones, a blown Achilles or herniated disc. Or when your daughter breaks your nose with her head. Or when she ingests lead paint and prescription drugs (separate occasions). Or when you accidentally dislocate your son’s elbow. Or when your dad has a rib bone lodged in his throat and starts hacking at the table and everyone is so grossed out yet continues to eat while you nobly walk him to the ER to find out that he will have to stay and have surgery so you end up at top of the Will for at least two days for being such a caring and compassionate daughter.
Well, the hospital is moving and the ER is closing at the end of this week. Imagine our luck that we could hobble over one last time! And there was no waiting, so they brought Missy in for her vitals while I got her registered. A second later, the doors slide open and this old man comes in yelling, “I’m not an old man!” I catch a glimpse of him and he is holding a blood-drenched towel up to his head. “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!”
I am getting pretty woozy as the nurses whisk him away and call for maintenance to come and clean up the red puddles he left behind. I am swallowing the vomit that keeps creeping up the back of my throat. Thank goodness Missy was behind the wall, but she could hear everything and sat there wide-eyed. I lied and said that I am sure that he didn’t get shot. “It’s just a figure of speech.”
Over two hours later and several X-rays, the doc explains that everything looks good, but that she strained her back. Care instructions: ice, ibuprofen, rest and having mom at her beck and call. Get her home, prop her up, run to Walgreens for large refreezable ice packs because the damn ice bag thing we have always leaks. Threw in a Bop magazine and Gatorade for her, picked up Junior from his holding station at his friend’s and got everyone settled on the couch for some quality time together zoned out in front of the TV.
Ten minutes later, I hear the weather alarm sirens and the TV flashes that there is a tornado warning in our area.
“Okay, everyone in the basement, we will watch our show down there!” I exclaim in my fake cheerful voice. “I’ll get your blankets, pillows and snacks. Go grab the flashlights — we’re all good!”
I unload their crap, head back to the kitchen to grab some essentials for me: beer, a tub of Merkt’s cheese and a box of Wheat Thins.
“Nice survival kit, mom,” says Missy.
“You have no idea,” I mutter under my breath.
We continue to watch our show while the wind is howling outside. There are some loud claps of thunder that even I can hear over the crunch of my snacking.
Zap. The power is out.
Tom’s flight is due back first thing in the morning.
There’s no freaking way…
Part two coming up once I sober up>>